The Environmental Protection Agency found at least one area of west Atlanta that has no less than 2,000 parts per million of lead in the soil. Another area had as much as 3,400 parts per million. To put that in perspective, the EPA says the unsafe threshold is just 400 parts per million when it comes to lead contamination in the soil.
Since the EPA made the area a “Superfund removal action,” the state will receive more money from the federal government as the work begins to remove the lead from the soil. At present, the action includes approximately 368 properties, but the agency is considering expanding the testing since it now believes the contamination goes further than at first believed.
What makes lead so dangerous?
Lead, classified as a neurotoxin, has a variety of negative health effects on the human body, including:
- It can cause miscarriages in pregnant women.
- It can cause high blood pressure in adults.
- Lead poisoning can cause damage to your kidneys and cause nerve damage.
- Lead can cause brain damage in children, which reduces intelligence and compromises a child’s ability to pay attention and control his or her behavior.
- Children absorb up to 90% more lead into their bodies than adults do. The more lead the body absorbs, the more it replaces iron in the blood, which can cause fatigue and anemia.
Even though the EPA has an official threshold for lead contamination, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is based here in Atlanta, says there is no safe level of exposure to lead. If you live on the west side of Atlanta, and you and/or your children have mysterious health issues, it could be due to the lead contamination in the soil.
What can you do about your health issues?
The above may not be the only health problems you could experience due to lead poisoning. Serious adverse health effects not only disrupt and affect your life, possibly forever, but they also create financial expenditures you wouldn’t ordinarily have. You may also sustain additional losses, such as if you cannot work for some amount of time.
It may be possible to pursue compensation for your losses, but knowing where to begin and how to maneuver through the process can be complex and frustrating. Fortunately, you do not have to go through it alone. Consulting with an attorney experienced in environmental law and toxic torts could help reduce your stress and increase your chances of a positive outcome.